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1 Timothy 3:16 ESV "Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory."

Do the following four examples of the activities of angels qualify as instances of "seen by angels"? None of them actually uses the word "seen/ophthe".

  1. Luke 2:10-14 "...there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God...".

  2. Matthew 4:11 "angels came and were ministering to him".

  3. Matthew 28:2 " an angel of the Lord...rolled back the stone and sat on it".

  4. Acts 1:10 "two men stood by them in white robes,and said,...".

If any or all of these are examples of Jesus being seen by angels, do the varied circumstances in which they occur reveal different aspects of the mystery of godliness?

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  • God took on flesh to live among the people he created Jun 11 at 12:58
  • I don't know much about these things, but can't we interpret greek "angels" as "human messengers" here? This seems to form a nice rhetorical sequence: manifested [to messengers], seen [by messengers], proclaimed [by these messengers]. (see also hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/22651/…) Jun 11 at 18:18
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I agree with collen's comment: The angels observed that God took on flesh to live among the people he created.

The angels saw that. In the spiritual dimension, angels could see one another and they interacted with God every now and then. 1 Timothy 3:16 speaks of the spiritual realm as well as the physical realm from the point of view of angels:

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory."

was seen
ὤφθη (ōphthē)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 3708: Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.

Angels saw the man Jesus and interacted with him. This was the mystery of godliness: How could it be that angels saw God in the vertical realm and at the same time, interacted with the Son of God in the horizontal realm? Then Jesus was taken up in glory. Now both God and Son of God are in the heavenly realm. From the angels' point of view, it is a mystery.

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